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AFA Honors SMC’s ‘Best of the Best’ at Annual Banquet

AFA's General Bernard A. Schreiver Chapter honored 147 outstanding SMC personnel at its annual Salute to SMC Banquet, June 22. Pictured from left to right are Stacy Dumas, Capt. Daniel Lim, Col. Randall Weidenheimer, Maj. Jennifer van Weezendonk, Brice Barrett, Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, Retired Lt. Gen. Brian Arnold, Maj. Gen. William Shelton, Lt. Col. William Berkstresser, Capt. Donny White, 1st Lt. Alex White,  Lt. Col. Donna Shipton and Col. Wesley Ballenger. Other winners not pictured include: Capt. Donita Ruehs, TSgt. Travis Chenard, SrA Ashley Borja and Barbara Konieczny

AFA's General Bernard A. Schreiver Chapter honored 147 outstanding SMC personnel at its annual Salute to SMC Banquet, June 22. Pictured from left to right are Stacy Dumas, Capt. Daniel Lim, Col. Randall Weidenheimer, Maj. Jennifer van Weezendonk, Brice Barrett, Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, Retired Lt. Gen. Brian Arnold, Maj. Gen. William Shelton, Lt. Col. William Berkstresser, Capt. Donny White, 1st Lt. Alex White, Lt. Col. Donna Shipton and Col. Wesley Ballenger. Other winners not pictured include: Capt. Donita Ruehs, TSgt. Travis Chenard, SrA Ashley Borja and Barbara Konieczny

Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Fourteen men and women from the Space and Missile Systems Center were honored at the Air Force Association's annual awards banquet at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott Hotel, June 22. This salute recognized their outstanding achievements and accomplishments and was hosted by AFA's General Bernard A. Schriever Los Angeles Chapter 147. The chapter has held close affiliations with SMC for the past 33 years. 

"You might think of it as the Academy Awards night for space," said Mr. Patrick Devine, AFA's General Bernard A. Schriever Los Angeles Chapter 147 president. "The honorees this evening represent the 'best of the best.' We are recognizing the best performance of the year in each category." 

"What you see here tonight are the pioneers of the next half century of military space," said Lt. Gen. Michael Hamel, commander, SMC. "We're going to talk about and recognize these individuals who have truly laid the foundation for the next half century of military space power." 

The attendees watched a video recounting SMC's history and the pioneers that set the space program in motion, the transition of Los Angeles Air Force Base to the new Schriever Space Complex, and the commissioning of the new wings. 

General Hamel and retired Air Force Lt. Gen. and immediate-former SMC commander Brian Arnold presented the distinguished Bernard A. Schriever Award to Maj. Gen. William Shelton, Fourteenth Air Force commander, and the event's guest speaker. The award recognizes the individual "who has made the most significant contribution to the missions of the United States Air Force in missiles and space programs during the year." 

"To the Schriever Chapter members, I thank you for what you do for the dedicated people of our Air Force today," said General Shelton. "We are grateful for your continued service to the greatest Air Force in the world." 

A Schriever Fellowship trophy was given to retired Maj. Gen. Thomas Taverney for his outstanding contributions to the space program. AFA's Aerospace Education Foundation in cooperation with the Schriever Education Foundation will award a student with the scholarship in General Taverney's name. 

AFA also announced its plans to present SMC with a 9-foot bronze statue of General Schriever in November of this year to stand in the courtyard of the Schriever Space Complex.